While a gun show where numerous “Don’t Tread on Me” flags are hanging up doesn’t sound like an environment a woman who was shot and nearly killed would want to be in, that’s exactly where former U.S. representative Gabby Giffords was on Sunday.
Giffords attended her first gun show in New York after being shot in January 2011. While the general reception at the show was described as welcoming, Giffords was met with some opposition. Not only was Giffords booed by some people, one man showed up with a sign that had a swastika on it.
Can you believe some wing nuts boo'ed at Gabby Giffords, when she attended a gun show & protested her w/ swastika signs? Idiots.
— Levi Page (@Levi_Page) October 13, 2013
Giffords attended the Saratoga Springs Arms Fair with husband Mark Kelly and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as part of her national campaign against gun violence. Giffords was there to highlight a new agreement that closely monitors the sale of guns at shows in New York.
“Be responsible–Democrats, Republicans, everyone,” Giffords encouraged. “We must never stop fighting. Fight. Fight. fight. Be bold. Be courageous. The nation is counting on you.”
Nearly 100K people have signed our letter urging Congress to reduce gun violence. Join the movement: http://t.co/v9QrV7K8V5
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) October 9, 2013
While most people at the show were friendly to Giffords, whether they agreed with her stance on gun control laws or not, she was met with some opposition.
Kenneth Hall described Giffords and Kelly’s presence at the gun show as a “publicity stunt.” Hall went on to say, “They say they’re Second Amendment supporters. I don’t believe they are.” Hall also brought a sign with a swastika on it that said, “gun control made the Holocaust possible.”
Fortunately, even if others at the gun show ultimately disagreed with the former representative’s views, they were civil about it. Dealer Joe Albano talked with Giffords and her husband and was impressed with the couple. He said he was against the new gun control laws, but “If she can help us, fine. We’re doing everything right here. We’re legal.”
The initiative Giffords is pushing is separate from the gun control laws New York passed earlier this year that expanded a ban on military-style weapons, limited the capacity of magazines, taxed bullets and created a registry. Giffords is promoting a national campaign that, among other things, expands background checks for gun sales.